The Maldives government said on Wednesday it would allow jailed leaders of rival parties to take part in talks on resolving the country's political crisis.
Best known as an exotic tourist destination, the Indian Ocean island nation has been mired in political unrest since its first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Nasheed, was ousted in February 2012.
The concession was announced four days after President Abdulla Yameen's administration started talks with a UN delegation amid international pressure for reform.
The administration has have jailed opposition leaders including Nasheed and members of Yameen's party, including the vice president, on various charges.
Opposition parties have demanded the release of all political detainees and allow party choice of representative at the talks.